John's First Blog
A parent’s greatest
responsibility is in the raising of their child. They are expected to
teach the child to be responsible, contributing members of society. They
should teach them honesty, truthfulness and the courage to take personal
responsibility for their personal failures. It is sad to say that with
today’s young people; that this is not always so.
One of the privileges
we have is to learn from those who have gone before us. I consider
myself fortunate to have had a father who took the time to teach me
these things. He was one of the wisest people I have ever met. He taught
me that if I wanted something then I had to earn it. He instilled in me
a work ethic that says “If a man pays you for 8 hours of work then it is
reasonable for him to expect 8 hours of work from you”. He taught me not
to steal and to be truthful and to respect my elders. These are the
things that a parent is expected to impart to their children.
My father lived through
both world wars and fought in the second. He served in Korea and during
Viet Nam. His generation has been called “The greatest Generation”. They
have so much to teach and we have so much to learn. Unfortunately, they
are often cast aside in facilities so that they can live out their years
alone and forgotten. So many lessons left unlearned. It is said that if
we don’t learn from history then we are bound to repeat it.
I look at today’s young
people and I wonder what history they will have to repeat. Technology
has given them a jaundiced view of reality. They have cell phones that
do everything short of the dishes. Their video games glorify death and
crime to the point that they are desensitized to the tragic reality of
life as they see it. They are a “microwave generation”. They want what
they want and they want it now and if someone else has it then they will
conspire to take it.
Today’s youth have
little respect for those who have gone before them. An incident happened
recently to me. I was driving down our street when a young boy about 10
years old rode his bicycle right in front of my car. I braked hard and
hit the horn, then I told him to be more careful. He touched his hand to
his mouth and then hit his butt. The implication of this gesture was
plain to me. Hilary Clinton tells us that it takes a village to raise a
child. She is correct except that her view of village is “government
intervention” in the responsibility of parenting. My father would have
snatched him off his bicycle and walked him straight to his parents and
if they weren’t available then he would have applied a personal lesson
to his backside. Such responsibility is absent in today’s society.
As I look to the
future, I must look to the past at the same time. The young people of
today are the leaders of tomorrow. What is their foundation? What has
formed their world view? Who was responsible for their upbringing,
responsible parents or the gang on the corner? We see evidence today of
numerous corporate scandals and personal failures of our corporate and
political leaders. Now I know that some of these young people will rise
to the top as the cream of the crop but again I ask; “What is their
foundational ethic?” If they have not learned from the history of our
elders then they will repeat the historical errors of their youth.
Let’s put the
responsibility back in the hands of the parents not in the vice of the
government. Let us apply the rod so that the child is not spoiled but
instead is molded into the self-confident, honest, trustworthy and
truthful adult that they should be.